Ponderings with Doug – August 19, 2016


Two weeks ago, I was innocently watching a replay of last year’s SEC championship game. Even though I know who won the football game, I still was nervous watching it. I don’t like to be disturbed while I am nervously watching football game replays. Please don’t try to talk to me while I am nervously watching football, live or replays. I don’t listen very well. I will give you “the look.”

During a commercial, my bride said, “This furniture doesn’t work in this house, we need to start over.”

When I first started out as a Methodist minister, the churches furnished their Parsonages. There are many horror stories about Parsonage furniture. In the early 90’s, congregations exited the furniture business and allowed preachers to furnish their Parsonages. We have furniture from one church which said, “Preacher do you want the furniture in the Parsonage? We will sell it to you.” I still have some of “that” furniture.

Our furniture is eclectic. We have purchased pieces for the parsonages we have occupied. Each house was very different, so are the items of furniture. We have lived in six parsonages. We have furniture bought specifically for each house. The Natchitoches parsonage is huge, but we have filled it up with furniture. None of it would make any sense to an interior designer.

I asked my bride after the football game replay, “Do you want to call folks and tell them to come get our furniture? Do you want to have a garage sale? When are you thinking about doing this, in the next days or a decade from now?”

Then I said, “You know if the Methodists see all the furniture for sale they might think they are getting a new preacher and we don’t want to create any premature celebration of pastoral evacuation.”

She said, “I know, I haven’t figured it out yet. I think we need to start over.” I clarified that she was talking about the furniture and not the husband.

Of course the prospects of furniture shopping is much akin to planning a trip to Best Buy and your bride says, “While we are close can we go to Hobby Lobby?” In the legal world that is known as entrapment.

I agree that with the moves, the kids, the dogs and different architecture of each house, it is time to furniture shop. We need to consult professionals, because this will be the furniture of my OLD AGE. I want furniture guaranteed against “old people house smell.”

This weekend my daughter will be in town. She and her family were flooded out of their house in Baton Rouge last weekend. The water rose to four feet inside of their home. Everything they owned is at the curb waiting for the trash men to haul off.

I think my bride had some sort of premonition. There are pieces of furniture Allison loves because she and mom picked them out long ago. Her bedroom from High School is here in Natchitoches. We have her Chaise Lounge, officially known as “sexy chair.” Some of our eclectic furniture consists of items the kids had us “store” when they moved out of apartments into their homes.

Allison and Lucas had flood insurance, but are still starting over. As a parent all I care about is helping my kid anyway possible. If we sinners know how to love and care for our kids, do you suppose God knows how to care for His children? That is the secondary question of this article.

Years ago I pastored a church in Kenner. One weekend I was gone for a Methodist conference. During my absence, that Parsonage was burglarized. They took everything. Have you ever had your shoes and socks stolen? I think that event and a couple of others reminded me that nothing is mine. Not even these books that surround me at work are mine. I am simply using them for the time being. I long ago stopped writing my name in books. I have done over 500 funerals, I have seen no U-Haul trucks in the processions.

Floods, tornadoes, fires and even crime remind us that our possessions are not ours. Like the very life you enjoy this moment, everything is on loan to you from God. Take care of how you handle the Lord’s possessions.

The care of creation and possessions is called stewardship.

Are you a good steward of the goodness in your life?

That is the primary question of life.